The fundamentals of laser beam interactions with materials are discussed briefly and unique laser processing capabilities are noted. Introduction of this processing capability to manufacturing is reviewed. Typical high volume production application requirements are identified and representative performance and production experience are described.
Specific multikilowatt laser welding, piercing and hardfacing applications in aerospace production are described. Evolution of production processes is discussed against the background of required processing capability. Also discussed are the unique laser processing capabilities which resulted in selection of the laser for production. Production experience is reviewed and cost saving factors are noted.